Length: 109 minutes
Release Date: January 05, 2007
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Genre: Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller
“Children of Men” is set in a dystopian United Kingdom — the last country that has not become involved in the current world war. After an entire generation of humans has become infertile, the human race is nearly extinct. Things change when a man named Theo is tasked with transporting a woman who is inexplicably pregnant. Along the way, Theo is forced to choose between saving his own life and saving the human race.
“Children of Men” is set in 2027 in the United Kingdom. For the past 18 years, all humans have been infertile, which has left the human race on the edge of extinction. Theo Faron – a former activist and bureaucrat living in the United Kingdom – is kidnapped by a militant group known as the Fishes. When Theo arrives at their compound, he realizes that the group is led by his estranged wife, Julian. Julian asks him to forge documents and transport a refugee named Kee, the only known pregnant woman in the world. He agrees, but on their way to a safe house, Julian is killed.
At the safe house, Theo overhears the other members of the Fishes as they make plans to use Kee and the baby as political tools. He helps Kee escape during the night, and they arrive at the home of Theo’s friend Jasper. It is then decided that Kee would be smuggled aboard a ship run by the Human Project, a group dedicated to curing infertility. Before the group can make it safely to the boat, Kee is kidnapped by the Fishes, and Theo is caught in the middle of a fight between warring militant groups.
Cast and Characters
In “Children of Men,” the acting is great on all sides. Clive Owens plays the lead role of Theo, an average guy willing to risk his life for the greater good. His lack of skill and desire to help Kee make the character both believable and appealing. Two supporting characters have equally impressive performances. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Luke, a strong, wise character who helps Theo and Kee escape. Pam Ferris plays Miriam, the midwife brought along to care for Kee. Without this character, it is clear that the group would not have made it through the journey.
There are plenty of action sequences in “Children of Men,” but unlike the typical mainstream action movie, this film displays characters that show fear and are often unable to handle all of the demands of being chased by various militant groups. Even the Department of Homeland Security becomes interested in tracking down Theo and Kee, whose child is now the most valuable thing in the world.
The group is chased on foot, in cars and through streets lined with fighters shooting at one another for opposite causes. Throughout the film, the characters make mistakes, and there are casualties, two elements that make the story all the more real. Julian’s death early in the journey foreshadows how few characters make it out alive. The deaths are at times so brutal that they are difficult to watch, but this element in the film reinforces the desperation of the various militant groups.
The backstory of the state of the world is actually summed up very well after the opening credits, so the film is able to focus on the present situation instead of the past. Theo watches a news story that explains that the rest of the world has been devastated by war or natural disaster, and the United Kingdom is the only country still with any sense of order. As such, refugees have been flowing through the country’s borders, resulting in the fighting between groups that are for and against immigrants. The irony of the situation is that Kee is a refugee, and she just happens to have the answer to one of the biggest problems the world is facing.
The set design is constructed to reflect the dystopian state of the United Kingdom, which compliments the compelling story the movie is telling. It is easy to forget that the scenes are constructed, especially with the fighters and partially collapsed buildings lining the streets. The filming techniques employed by director Alfonso Cuarón accentuate the set design. Cuarón favors single-camera shots throughout the film, so the audience only sees part of the action. This is a good strategy because it places all of the focus on what the characters are going through rather than on the surroundings. Easily the most poignant shot of the film is when fighters abruptly stop when they see Kee’s child. This scene indicates that the fighting will in fact stop altogether if the human race is able to continue.
“Children of Men” tells a very interesting story. The great acting and flawless set design bring the story to life and make it something the audience can believe is possible. With no obvious flaws, “Children of Men” is a must-see movie.
It’s a Giveaway! Enter Here for a Chance to Win the Transformers Trilogy on Blu-Ray!